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Students help build fish tank with Farm Urban

At the end of the last Academic year, 10 students attended a STEM day organised by Mersey STEM. The event took place at FACT in Liverpool. They attended workshops throughout the day and gradually built an aquaponics system.

On Thursday 12th November, the students installed a new hydroponic and photovoltaic fish tank with the help of Farm Urban.

Working with students, they built and installed a food producing system. This is the technique of growing fish and crops together in a completely closed-loop ecosystem. In its simplest form, fish excrete waste into the water and this waste makes the perfect fertiliser for the plants, so we pump it into a separate tank where microbes and worms break it down to release the nutrients which feed the plants. By removing these nutrients from the water the plants act as a bio-filter, cleaning the water which is then pumped back into the fish to start the whole process again.

In the future, the system will be upgraded to include a photovoltaic cell to power the system through the summer months, as well as an Arduino based system to manage the power and charging of batteries.

The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and look forward to watching the process over time and will be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the system, as well as sending weekly reports to Farm Urban so that any issues can be identified.

Report by Mr Grose

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